Imagine you are riding your bike, going to college or office, or just hanging around the city and suddenly the brakes start to act weird! Your whole day could get destroyed. If you are a biker, you must have found yourself very often taking your bike to the shop for adjusting the brakes. Well, the fact is, if you follow a step by step procedure, you can do the job by yourself. In this article, I tried to shed some light on how to adjust the bike brakes.
Pro-Guide On How To Adjust Bike Brakes
Varieties of bike brakes are available in the market. For example- Disc type, caliper type, V-brake, cantilever brake etc. As a result, the procedure to adjust the brakes needs to be discussed separately. You may have the dirt bike torque wrench, but if you do not know the procedure in detail, you cannot adjust the bike breaks. Here I am going to talk about adjusting some most common types.
At first, check the brake pads. If they are not at the same distance from the rim, then you need to center them. It’s quite easy. Center the brake pads by loosing, aligning and tightening again. To check if the centering is ok or not, press the brake and watch if one brake pad pushes the rim across the other one or whether the two pads contact simultaneously.
Next step is fixing the distance between the rim and the pads. This is dependent on bikers choice. Some bikers give preference to firm brakes while others want to travel the liver a bit more. Hold the brake caliper and loosen the bolt of the cable. Slightly press the caliper and tighten up the bolt back. All right, now check, if the brakes feels ok at the lever as you want it to be. If it does not feel good, then continue until you are happy with it.
Now, The issue of adjusting the tyre clearance. When the wheel is removed, the lever here works for providing tyre clearance. The job here is to ensure that the point of the lever is facing the ground.
Next job, aligning the brake pads. They are to be positioned in such a manner that they are on the upper side of the braking surface. Also, they need to be separated from the tyre wall. Rotate the wheel to ensure that the above conditions are fulfilled.
Finally, work on the barrel adjuster. Turn the barrel both clockwise and counter-clockwise to balance the rim and pad position. By this method, small saddle related adjustment, cable stretch adjustment etc. are also done.
At first, unfasten the quick release skewer and find out whether the wheel is in the right position. If it is ok, then probably the brake calipers need to be adjusted. Now, loosen the bolts of the brake calipers enough so that you can move them easily.
Press the brake liver hard and tight up the bolts. Rotate the wheel and check if there is still any rubbing of the pads, then carry on the process again. Sometimes it needs several attempts to adjust the calipers.
Another option to fix the calipers can be done by eye. There is space on the sides of the rotor. Loosen the bolts, align the calipers and tight up the bolts.
For V-type brakes, at first check the wheel. Is it well centered and rotating perfectly? Next thing is, adjust the brake cables by grabbing both the brake arms and free the cables. One hand is enough for this step.
Now slightly free the pressure on the brake arms until there is minimum pressure for optimum braking.Use your other hand to direct the cables going inside the clamping points.
Reassimilate the cables. Tight the bolts. Press the brake and check if the brake lever movement is according to your requirement.
Time for pad placement. Start by pressing the V-brake arms or the brake lever and adjust the rim. Do it with one hand. Use the other hand to line up the pad when it remains loose. Thus the pad is in contact with the rim in the middle of the brake travel.
After placing the pad perfectly without rubbing the tyre or placed on the correct height, tighten the bolts again. Do the same to the other side. Make adjustments on the small screws if there is rubbing on any side. For example, if the right pad rubs the tyre, raise the tension on the right spring by twisting the screw. It will result in the brake arm to be revealed.
Carry on adjusting until the rubbing stops. Now press the brakes and check how it feels. Repeat the process from wheel checking to reassimilating cables and tighten up bolts for fine-tuning.
It is an old-school brake system. Cantilever brake adjustment is quite a hard task. Here, when you press the lever, wire controlled brake pads are pulled up. The brake pads should be uniform and stay in its position in a perfect manner to avoid jamming. Ensure the pads are set in the rim perfectly and the wires are of equal length. An Allen key would be the perfect choice for this job. However, to adjust cantilever brakes, patience is your main tool.
As time passes, these cables can wear out and affect your braking system. Replace the cables if that is the case.
Adjust Your Bike Brakes Now
Riding on the bike is fun, but adjusting the brakes is quite an intimidating task. However, You may have to do the job by yourself often. In this write up on how to adjust the bike brakes, I described some common types of brake adjustment. Keep it as a guidebook while exploring the world with your bike! Good luck!!